VLV: Congenial Ambience in a Heritage building
VLV at Clarke Quay opened its doors about 6 months ago, and this multi-concept food and entertainment place has a club lounge on the first level, a courtyard bar, as well as an outdoor dining area.
The restaurant, which is on the second level, is tastefully and elegantly furnished with a modern setting flair. Paintings adorning the wall give the place a homely feel. Currently, VLV is helmed by Group Executive Chef Martin Foo, who used to work at two of the well-known Chinese restaurants namely Lei Garden and the Tung Lok Group.
For weekends, there is a weekend dim sum brunch buffet ($68 for adults and $34 for children 6-11 years old). Brunch with free flow of drinks is priced at $108 or $138 per person. There is also an a la carte menu available if you want to skip the buffet.
To start, I went with three dim sum dishes: the wild mushroom dumplings, crab roe kurobuta “siew mai” and the crispy seafood rice roll. The kurobuta “siew mai” tasted quite ordinary, but surprisingly the wild mushrooms dumpling were more flavourful—the crystal skin was thin and smooth, with generous fillings. I liked the crispy seafood rice roll for the way it was cooked and it made the dish more memorable. It definitely tasted as good as it looked.
Kagoshima kurabuta “char siew” is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. The char siew was served with yellow mountain honey and black beans together with onion rings and garnishings. Unfortunately, the outer layer of the char siew was charred, forming a black layer of “charcoal”-like skin. I had to remove the charred parts in order to get to the good stuff. The meat was anointed with honey, which made the pork a little too sweet for my liking.
The VLV Peking Duck, also another signature dish, comes with a different set of condiments. The Japanese cucumber, baby leek, lettuce, avocado and crispy beancurd skin and truffle foie gras paste were a delightful combination. Although the taste of foie gras paste was rather overpowering, the trick is to apply the paste lightly onto the lettuce.
Separately, the duck meat was fried with capsicum and spices, and placed in a biscuit-like receptacle just like an ice cream cone. Next, the spicy duck cones were served in a bowl sitting on a nest of crispy strips of flour with smoke coming out from the hot cones. It was a spectacular visual treat and certainly out of the ordinary.
The crab fried rice on lotus with egg whites, conpoy, celtuce and spring onion was simple and hearty, just like how your grandmother would cook at home for you.
I didn’t have room for desserts and ordered the custard salted egg charcoal bun to round off my meal.
There were definitely hits and misses, but what I really like about this restaurant is the chef’s ability to make a nondescript dish visually appealing.
31 River Valley Road